The post exercise meal is arguably the most important meal of the day. Imagine your body as a finely tuned automobile. During the course of the workout we are constantly putting the pedal to the metal which in turn burns fuel. If our fuel gauge read FULL at the beginning, it now reads EMPTY. We need to replenish and refuel ourselves to ensure our tank is full for the next workout. If we return with anything less we run the risk of running out of fuel too soon, hitting the wall and potentially hurting ourselves. You wouldn’t want to punch it with the gas light on would you?! It is very important to get fuel (sugar, the good kind) into our bodies as soon as possible. These fast acting, super potent sugars can be found mainly in fruits (bananas, strawberries, apples, etc). Naturally, longer workouts require more fuel and shorter workouts require less fuel. But remember, don’t go overboard any excess sugars could potentially become stored as fat. BUT if you were to splurge on extra fruit, post WOD would be the time to indulge.
Now let us explore the belts, pistons and other moving parts. Over the course of our intense workout our muscles are constantly being contracted which leads to microscopic muscle breakdown. This is also the reason we become sore after a tough workout. But don’t sweat, our body constantly adapts to this and rebuilds those exhausted, broken down muscles to actually come back bigger and stronger than before. We just need to give it the right building blocks. Those building blocks are called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs or in other words protein). These are essential to life and very important post-WOD. The best sources of BCAAs can be found in whey protein powder, chicken, beef, eggs, etc) Again remember, the sooner we get those building blocks into our body the sooner the rebuilding process can occur. Whey protein powder is the fastest acting, but don’t shy away from hard boiled eggs or lean chicken breast if need be. All sources are great.
The point is we MUST refuel and rebuild. It is recommended that simple sugars and protein (2:1 ratio) are consumed together within 30 minutes post-exercise. Protein shakes blended with ice and fruit are the most convenient way to prepare ourselves for the next workout. Lay off the fat immediately after exercise which tends to slow down sugar and protein absorption.
Your body is a finely tuned machine, treat it like one.